Parents Of Special Needs Child Say Their Boy Was Restrained
Updated 4/25 10:09 p.m.
LEWISVILLE (CBSDFW.COM) – The parents of a special needs child say their 10-year-old was restrained on the school bus on the way home.
They say they want to know why a supervisor put their son Lukas Hines in a choke hold and wouldn’t let him go to his mother. For four minutes the struggle continued between the Durham School Services supervisor and Lukas and his mother.
Anna Hines recorded what happened on her iPhone.
In the video she is heard repeatedly asking,“Let him go!” says Anna Hines “Are you keeping my child from me?”
“As soon as police get here,” replies the supervisor holding onto Lukas.
The Hines family wants to know what led to the confrontation last Wednesday.
“The more you’re going to fight him the more he’s going to do that,” says Anna Hines.
The supervisor replies, “Ma’am I wasn’t holding him the whole time. He kicked. He bit. He head-butted. He spit on us.”
Durham School Services runs the buses for Lewisville ISD. The Hines family says they were told their son, a 4th grade special needs student, was out of his seat and distracting the bus driver.
“He was man-handled like a rag doll. The guy had him a choke hold,” says Lukas’s father Andy Hines “He was up in the air and swinging him around.”
Police eventually arrived and Lukas was released to his mother. Lukas suffers from seizures, dyslexia, ADHD and he’s being tested for autism.
His mother even took pictures later that day showing scratches and bruises on his body.
“He wanted me it broke my heart that I couldn’t reach him I couldn’t get him,” says Anna Hines. “I didn’t know what to do. I felt helpless kept asking why I couldn’t have him give me my child back he just refused.”
The family identifies the supervisor seen in the video as Richard Blatchley. Durham services says Blatchley is a bus barn supervisor.
Company representatives sent CBS 11 a statement saying, “As this recording only captured a limited portion of the entire interaction, we are currently in the process of reviewing the whole series of events. We take our job of transporting students safely very seriously and are working diligently to determine all the facts.”
The Hines say they’ve talked to Lewisville ISD and a trained teacher and aide have been riding with Lukas since the incident.
There was an aide on the bus the day of the incident, but the family was told that she couldn’t handle Lukas.
Lewisville ISD says they can’t comment on the specific case.
However, a spokesperson says the district’s restraint policy is used when a student causes danger to him or herself, other students and staff and if the situation escalates police may be notified.
The district says there was not a camera on the bus at the time of the incident. Durham School Services sent an updated statement on the incident Wednesday:
Durham School Services has a comprehensive student management training program which includes specific components for students with special needs; all employees who interact with special needs students receive this training. A component of our approach to student management when encountering a student who is causing harm to other students, our employees, or him/herself, is to intervene as necessary to prevent harm. If intervention does not successfully resolve the situation, authorities may be called. A review of the incident on April 18 found our Manager, Mr. Blatchley had encountered such a situation thus the use of restraint and the contacting of local authorities was warranted. Our manager’s responsibility was to protect all of the students on the bus, including the student involved in the incident, and his employees while he waited for the authorities. We regret that the wait for the authorities delayed resolution of the situation, but once the authorities were contacted, the authorities are responsible for releasing the student to his mother.
The supervisor, Richard Blatchley, has not commented on the case. No action has been taken against him.
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